How to debrief an interprofessional team

May 19, 2022 

As experts in medical simulation, we all understand the importance of debriefing. For those not in the know, it’s where learners get the chance to reflect on their performance following a simulation experience. It’s also where participants learn what changes they can make to improve their skillset.

IPE_Blog300x200.jpgJump Simulation helps clinical educators, standardized participants, faculty at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria and others master the facilitation of debriefing in a couple of different courses. As OSF HealthCare and UICOMP collaborate to create expert teams instead of teams of experts, we’ve launched a new course called, Debriefing the Interprofessional team.

As part of this class, participants learn how to use different strategies to manage challenging debriefing situations. Interprofessional teams are typically made up of a variety of medical professionals including physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and others.

Focus areas

The Debriefing the Interprofessional team course launched in March and has three primary focus areas. The first is to review common debriefing techniques participants have been exposed to in previous courses. These include:

  • Conversational debriefing, which is carried out using a form of questioning and reflection called advocacy-inquiry.
  • Plus-delta debriefing, a form of self-assessment in which learners and facilitators explore what went well and what might have been done differently.
  • Simple closure where participants learn where their performance gaps are through feedback and other information.

As part of the class, we talk about how to move smoothly between these three debriefing styles, and then move on to discuss challenging situations that may arise when debriefing an interprofessional team. While not exclusive to team debriefings, a facilitator may encounter a quiet or shy learner, an upset learner, those who are indifferent or disengaged, a dominating learner with poor insight and a dominating learner who wants to show off.

The second focus of the course centers on learning strategies for managing these situations. Participants then have the opportunity to practice what they’ve learned. This is done by asking learners to watch a trigger video depicting a health care-related event that is managed by an interprofessional team. Class participants are then divided into small groups to identify a debriefing strategy they would use with the team from the video.

After each small group has devised a strategy, each debriefs the team. Learners typically find it challenging to debrief the teams they are presented with during the course. Many of the same challenges are encountered in live simulation and debriefing situations.

Another reason debriefing interprofessional teams can be so challenging is that despite increased attention to helping future clinicians from different professions learn and practice together during training, the number and frequency of such opportunities is currently limited. Without guidance and feedback during their professional education, it is not surprising that interprofessional clinician groups find it difficult to become an expert team rather than merely a team of experts who are unable to function together effectively.

Rapid cycle deliberate practice is a way to provide both clinical teams and those who are honing their debriefing skills a way to improve quickly. It is the third focus of the course. Rapid Cycle Deliberate Practice is a form of mastery learning that has been used for a number of years to develop psychomotor skills. It has only recently been used to develop teamwork skills as well as debriefing skills for those who debrief this type of simulation.

When using Rapid Cycle Deliberate Practice as a way to practice team debriefing, course participants are told before the simulation begins that they will be stopped when there is an opportunity for improvement in their debriefing technique. During the pause, course facilitators provide them with feedback and coaching. Course participants are then invited to restart the debriefing at a point approximately ten seconds prior to when the stop was called by the course facilitator.

Sign up for the class

With three specific focus areas and carefully structured opportunities to practice debriefing the interprofessional team, the Educational Development team believes this course has a lot to offer.

When participants walk away from this course, they will understand how to integrate different approaches into their facilitation practice and use them for more effective team debriefings while maintaining psychological safety and advocacy-inquiry as core strategies.

Sign up for our next Debriefing the Interprofessional team course here.

Featured Author

Willemsen-Dunlap_Ann.jpgAnn Willemsen-Dunlap Ann Willemsen-Dunlap is the Director of Educational Development. A nurse anesthetist by clinical training, she is responsible for the development and execution of innovative faculty development programming and interprofessional education at Jump. She gained her initial experience in simulation, teamwork training and interprofessional education while co-Directing the University of Iowa Department of Anesthesia’s simulation laboratory. She became part of the Jump team in March 2013.

View More In This Section
Back to Page